Searching for a milk formula for your little one, but unsure which one to pick? Enfamil and Similac both offer infant formula that mimics human milk.
Both brands also carry a wide range of products, including hypoallergenic formula, lactose intolerance friendly formulas, and a toddler formula.
So, which brand is better?
By the end of this product comparison, you’ll know the similarities and differences of Enfamil vs. Similac so you can decide which is the best baby formula for your child’s needs.
Is Enfamil Or Similac Better? Main Similarities & Differences
Enfamil and Similac are both among the most popular milk brands in the US. Many of their products have similar content or are formulated to meet the specific needs of your baby.
- Both Enfamil and Similac offer a wide range of baby formula milk products.
- Both have a non-GMO version of their sensitive formulas.
- Both brands are declared by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as safe to be used by babies.
- Both brands offer loyalty programs: Similac StrongMoms Rewards and Enfamil Family. Beginnings Program.
- Enfamil costs more than Similac when comparing similar products.
- Enfamil has more natural ingredients compared to Similac.
- Enfamil uses less sugar compared to Similac.
- Enfamil has higher amounts of iodine, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
- Enfamil contains more vitamins C, B12, E, and K.
- Enfamil has more choline, pantothenic acid, folic acid, and inositol.
- Similac is a better source of copper.
- Similac has higher levels of thiamin, vitamin D, riboflavin, niacin, and biotin.
- Enfamil A.R.
- Enfamil Enspire
- Enfamil Enspire Gentlease
- Enfamil Infant
- Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease
- Enfamil NeuroPro Infant
- Enfamil NeuroPro Sensitive
- Enfamil Premium A2
- Enfamil R Milk Fortifier
- Enfamil R Enfalyte
- Nutramigen Ready-to-Use Formula for Colic (from Cow’s Milk Allergy)
- Nutramigen with Enflora LGG Hypoallergenic formula (Cow’s Milk Allergy)
- PREMIUM Gentlease
- PREMIUM Infant
- Enfamil A+
- Advance Lamehadrin
- Pro-Advance with 2’-FL HMO
- Pro-Sensitive for Sensitive Tummies
- Pro-Sensitive with 2’-FL HMO
- Pro-Total Comfort for Sensitive Tummies
- Pro-Total Comfort with 2’-FL HMO
- Pure Bliss
- Sensitive for Neuro Support for Sensitive Tummies
- Sensitive for Sensitive Tummies
- Similac Expert Care NeoSure (Similac Neosure)
- Similac for Diarrhea
- Soy Isomil for Sensitive Tummies
- Spit-Up NON-GMO for Sensitive Tummies
- Supplementation NON-GMO
- Advance for Neuro Support
Comparison Between Similar Types of Formulas
In trying to find the best baby formula that your baby needs, it’s better to compare Enfamil vs. Similac according to similar milk formula products they offer, not just between the two brands as a whole.
Flagship Formulas: Enfamil Infant vs. Similac Advance
- Both formula brands are the basic milk products to provide nutrition for your baby up to the first year of their life.
- Both brands contain similar levels of milk-based ingredients (lactose, whey protein, and nonfat milk).
- Both have a similar mix of oils (soy oil, high oleic safflower oil, and coconut oil).
- Both contain a prebiotic.
- There are no added sugars in either formula.
- Both contain choline (a nutrient similar to the B vitamins), DHA (a fatty acid), and vitamin K.
- Enfamil contains palm olein oil (fatty acid similar to breastmilk but may cause colic and constipation in some babies).
- Similac contains lutein (for eye development and better vision).
Serving size: 5 fl oz, prepared as directed
- 100 calories per serving
- 5.3 g of fat per serving
- 11.3 g of carbs per serving
- 2 g of protein per serving
- 800 mg linoleic acid per serving
Serving size: 5.3 fl oz, prepared as directed
- 100 calories per serving
- 5.6 g of fat per serving
- 10.7g of carbs per serving
- 2.07 g of protein per serving
- 1000 mg lutein per serving
Milk for Spit-Up: Enfamil A.R. vs. Similac for Spit-Up
- Both formulas were formulated for babies who tend to spit up a lot.
- Both formulas use rice starch for a thicker product that still eases through the bottle nipple.
- Both formulas have similar mixtures of vitamins and minerals.
- Both products have more sugar than regular milk to help settle fussy tummies with less reflux.
- Similac contains two different sugars, while Enfamil only uses one.
- Enfamil contains two prebiotics (for healthy digestion), while Similac only has one.
- Enfamil contains lactose (sugar in milk), while Similac contains lesser milk ingredients.
- Similac doesn’t contain GMOs.
Gentle Formulas: Enfamil Gentlease vs. Similac Pro-Sensitive
- Both have a gentle formula that may help reduce fussiness in babies.
- Both products have similar levels of vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and water.
- Both use corn syrup solids (to help your baby digest cow’s milk easier).
- Enfamil uses partially hydrolyzed nonfat milk as well as whey protein concentrate solids from soy to assist in digestion, while Similac uses easy-to-digest milk protein isolate that might trigger allergies or indigestion in some babies.
- Similac contains more linoleic acid (supports a healthy heart).
Milk for Babies with Allergies: Enfamil Nutramigen vs. Similac Alimentum
- Both formulas may be used for babies with hypersensitivity or allergies to cow’s milk formula.
- Both formulas contain casein hydrolysate (milk with smaller, digestible proteins).
- Similac uses corn maltodextrin plus another sugar, while Enfamil uses corn syrup.
- Similac has more linoleic acid (supports a healthy heart).
- Enfamil uses modified corn starch for a thicker formula.
- Similac contains lutein (for eye health).
Milk with New Ingredients: Enfamil NeuroPro vs. Similac 2′ -FL HMO Pro Advance
- Both formulas contain DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid for better brain function).
- Both contain similar amounts of vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
- Both brands have their ingredients only found previously in breastmilk.
- Enfamil uses MFGM (Milk Fat Globule Membrane, a fatty substance for brain development).
- Similac uses 2′ -FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide (a prebiotic for boosting the immune system.)
- Similac claims no GMO or artificial growth hormones in their formula.
Milk Using Lactose-Free Soy: Enfamil ProSobee vs. Similac Soy Isomil
- Both products were formulated for babies with milk protein allergies.
- Both formulas were formulated for babies with galactosemia (a disorder that affects the body’s processing of simple sugar galactose and the larger sugar lactose).
- Both contain lactose-free soy proteins.
- Both are alternative formulas if your baby’s tummy is sensitive to milk.
- Both brands use corn syrup.
- Both offer similar nutritional content (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and protein).
- Similac adds more sugar to the soy formula.
- Similac has higher levels of linoleic acids (for a healthy heart).
Non-GMO Products: Enfamil Enspire vs. Similac Pro-Advance
- Both formulas contain lactose, whey protein concentrate, and nonfat milk.
- Both formulas have choline, iron, lutein, DHA, and vitamin E.
- Both products may contain coconut oil.
- Enfamil contains palm olein and high oleic sunflower oils.
- Similac contains high oleic safflower oil and soy oil.
- Both formulas are non-GMO and Kosher certified.
- Similac is also Halal certified.
- Enfamil contains MFGM (for brain development) and lactoferrin (protein helpful for immune support).
- Similac contains 2′-FL HMO (probiotics).
Milk for Premature Babies: Enfamil Enfacare vs. Similac NeoSure
- Both are formulated for premature babies.
- Both are easy-to-digest milk-based formulas.
- Both formulas promote better immune health.
- Enfamil contains MFGM and DHA (milk fat globule membrane and docosahexaenoic acid, both are for brain development).
- Similac contains DHA and ARA (arachidonic acid, a special nutrient found in breast milk for muscle repair and growth).
- Similac contains increased calcium and phosphorus (for your better bone development).
- Similac has no artificial growth hormone.
Organic Milk Products: Enfamil Premium A2 vs. Similac Organic Infant Formula or Similac Pure Bliss
- These are made with organic formulas.
- These formulas don’t contain GMOs, antibiotics, or artificial growth hormones.
- Enfamil is made from A2 milk proteins from premium, hand-picked European grass-fed cows.
- Similac (Pure Bliss) is also sourced from grass-fed cows.
- Enfamil doesn’t contain added table sugars.
- Enfamil contains enough Omega-3 DHA based on WHO (World Health Organization) recommendations: 0.2% to 0.36% of total fatty acids.
- Similac uses pure organic sugar and sunflower oil for added carbs and good taste.
- Similac contains Vitamin E and lutein (for better eyes).
Milk for Toddlers: Enfamil Enfagrow vs. Similac Go & Grow
- Both are formulated for toddlers (1 year old and above).
- Both contain calcium, iron, DHA, and vitamins C, D, and E.
- Enfamil uses vegetable oils as a source of fat.
- Enfamil contains probiotics.
- Enfamil contains vitamin A.
- Similac contains lutein (for better eyesight) and has no artificial growth hormones.
Formulas Without Counterpart
Enfamil and Similac both have products that are specially formulated for various purposes. So, they might not have a counterpart with the competing brand.
Choosing among these products would depend entirely on what you need for your baby:
For Soft, Comfortable Poop:
For Babies with Trouble Absorbing Fat:
If your baby has trouble digesting fat, Enfamil Pregestimil contains 55% fat from MCT oils (medium-chain triglycerides or fats with shorter length).
You may pick this formula if your baby is sensitive to intact proteins or has gastrointestinal disorders (bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain).
Similac Expert Care for Diarrhea
It doesn’t have a counterpart in Enfamil because Enfamil R Enfalyte is just an oral electrolyte solution, not formula milk.
For Babies with Severe Food Allergies:
Similac EleCare provides complete nutrition if your child has severe food allergies. This hypoallergenic milk is made from 100% free amino acids instead of hydrolyzed proteins. It was also formulated for babies with milk protein allergy from cow’s milk and soy sensitivity.
What Customers Say: Enfamil
“My son has a dairy allergy, and every other formula caused him to have very hard, painful stools. This is the only one he will drink that doesn’t cause those problems. He is now 18 months old, and we still mix this with his lactose-free milk to help keep him regular and make sure he gets even nutrients and vitamins.” – Amazon reviewer for Enfamil NeuroPro Sensitive Formula
“Recently switched to this formula due to my baby having a lot of gas and spit-up issues. Just from one feeding, I noticed the difference: he spits out less and is calmer.” – Target reviewer for Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease
“My son has acid reflux, and AR has saved our lives. We have tried many different formulas, and although he still is spitting up, it’s not nearly as much as before. I will say he does suffer from constipation and gas, but when we give him the ready-made, it’s not as bad as the powder.” – Walmart reviewer for Enfamil A.R.
“I hated this stuff eight years ago with my daughter and now again with my baby boy. I had to switch to Gentlease. Too much constipation, fussiness, and gas with this stuff. My son would turn red from all the straining he would do and no bowels for days.” – Amazon reviewer for Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Formula
“We were desperate to find a better formula for our baby as he was very fussy, possibly due to the formula we had been feeding him. He just looked like he was in pain and was always super gassy no matter how much we helped him “pump” it out. We decided to try this one instead, and thought “Gentlease” would alleviate his gas or whatever he was feeling – but no, in fact, I feel like he got worse and was even fussier.” – Target reviewer for Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease
“I heard a lot of wonderful things about this formula, even received a sample from my insurance. When I fed this formula to my daughter, it was milkshake thick and got thicker when you store the prepared bottles!!! My daughter choked on this formula because of how thick it was!!!!! The WORST formula I have ever tried.” – Walmart reviewer for Enfamil A.R.
What Customers Say: Similac
“Our twins are having steady weight gain with this formula. They had constipation during the first week of usage but have adjusted to it quite well after that. It’s on a little expensive side, especially for feeding twins. Overall like the product & do recommend.” – Amazon reviewer for Similac NeoSure Infant Formula
“My daughter started having stomach issues and was getting really fussy and crying all the time. I have a sensitive stomach, so I decided to try this formula to see if it helped at all, and after the first bottle, I noticed a change. We’re now on bottle #4 of this stuff, and she is like a whole new baby. She no longer looks in pain after or during eating, and she is actually staying awake and playing more.” – Target reviewer for Similac Pro Sensitive
“Only thing that works for our little one. We tried three different special formulas for our little ones‘ tummy. Then we decided to just go simple, and it turned out, it was the best choice for him.” – Walmart reviewer for Similac Advance Baby Formula
“I think it has a problem in terms of solubility. When mixing the formula, it will never completely dissolve because there is residue sitting in the bottle. I’m not sure if this is normal. Warm water didn’t help it dissolve any better. It just stays grainy.” – Amazon reviewer for Similac Organic Infant Formula
“Tried this for one week. The formula was definitely NOT for my baby. This made my baby even MORE gassy and fussy. She passed gas all the time, multiple times in an hour (imagine farting every 3 minutes or so), and the smell was absolutely terrible… like an adult’s! She would cry during feedings and didn’t sleep well. Also, it made her slightly constipated… and when she did poop, it smelled terrible too! Very disappointed, since formulas are expensive and I bought a large container, but I can’t use it.” – Target reviewer for Similac Pro Sensitive
“We used the pre-mixed formula for our baby, and every single time it caused him extreme amounts of gas. He was so uncomfortable that we had to throw the rest of the bottles out. This formula has caused us so much fussiness and lost sleep. I do not recommend this product to anyone.” – Walmart reviewer for Similac Advance Baby Formula
Summary & Recommendation
With different types of formula available from both brands, choose the ones that would suit your baby’s needs:
- For the basic formulations, choose Similac Advance if you want milk with lutein (for better vision) and no palm olein oil content.
- For sensitive tummies, choose Enfamil Gentlease if you want milk with gentler formulation and less added sugars for your baby; but choose Similac Sensitive if you want one that supports a healthy heart.
- For spitting up, choose Enfamil A.R. if you want more probiotics and less sugar, but choose Similac for Spit-Up if you want the formula with no GMOs.
- For hypoallergenic options, choose Enfamil Nutramigen if you want a formula that’s easier to digest and has less sugar; but choose Similac Alimentum if you want a product with more linoleic acid (for a healthy heart).
- Choose Similac 2′ -FL HMO Pro Advance if you want milk with more immune boosters and no GMO, but choose Enfamil NeuroPro if you want milk with more brain boosters.
- If your little one has allergies to cow’s milk protein, choose Enfamil ProSobee if you want soy milk with lesser sugar, but choose Similac Soy Isomil if you want soy milk with more linoleic acid.
- For non-GMO gluten-free options, choose Enfamil Enspire if you want a formula for immune and cognitive development, but choose Similac Pro-Advance if you want one with probiotics and no palm olein oil.
- If your baby is premature, choose Enfamil Enfacare if you want milk with more brain-building nutrients, but choose Similac NeoSure if you want more nutrients for both brain and muscle development.
- For organic milk sources, choose Enfamil Premium A2 if you want a formula that has more DHA and doesn’t have added sugars, but choose Similac Organic Infant Formula or Similac Pure Bliss if you prefer formula with lutein (for better eyesight).
- For your toddler’s nutrition, choose Enfamil Enfagrow if you want a formula with more vitamins and prebiotics. But choose Similac Go & Grow if you need one with lutein for better eyesight development.
It’s tough to choose between Enfamil and Similac, but if you prefer milk with less sugar for your baby, Enfamil has more products with fewer sugars.
Still, Similac also provides a wide range of products with lutein and doesn’t use palm olein oil (often associated with constipation in babies).
With many options available, check the labels and find the formula with ingredients you are comfortable feeding to your baby.
Wherever possible, we recommend organic, non-GMO, no vegetable oils or corn syrup, and gluten-free options if such milk formulations are available in your area and as long as your baby doesn’t have adverse reactions to the formula.
The prices of these formulas differ based on the specific product variation.
But between similar products, Enfamil is more expensive vs. Similac. It’s worth noting that cheaper doesn’t always mean that Similac is the better option.
You should also take product quality, ingredients used, and nutritional content into consideration when making your choice.
Your Pediatrician’s Opinion
Finding a formula for your baby can be confusing, especially if you’re a first-time mom.
But remember that breastmilk or formula is your baby’s only source of nutrition in the first six months. Also, milk remains a primary nutrition source until the child is one year old, but you’ll have to introduce your baby to solid food gradually.
Some babies might need a special formula.
Your pediatrician is your best resource in making sure that your baby will receive proper nutrition. Discuss breast milk and formula options with your pediatrician and ask for a recommendation.
Your pediatrician might recommend:
- Enfamil or Similar
- Other milk brands
- A special type of formula
There are times when certain batches of formula may be recalled for some reasons, such as possible contamination, label change, incorrect preparation instructions, etc.
But this usually happens on rare occasions and doesn’t usually affect the brand’s product lines.
- Enfamil Gentlease (lot number BMJ19) was recalled in July 2019 for suspected metal particles.
- In 2001, the company issued an allergy alert for Enfamil A.R. but did not recall the product.
- Enfamil Nutramigen was recalled in 2001 for incorrect preparation instructions that led to incorrect heartbeat, seizures, and other health problems in babies.
Walmart, Supervalu, Walgreen Co, and Kroger recalled stocks of Enfamil Newborn after a boy died from a rare bacterial infection in 2011. The child drank milk from lot number ZP1K7G.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) later cleared Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. Tests showed that their Enfamil Premium Newborn powder didn’t contain the deadly bacteria, Cronobacter sakazakii, that caused the child’s death. (1)(2)
- Similac Alimentum was recalled in 2006 over beetle contamination.
In 2010, Similac issued a massive recall on the following products following possible contamination with insects or larvae of the small common beetle: (3)
- Similac Advance Sensitive Powder DHA/AHA, 23.2 oz., No. 700750818
- Similac Isomil Advance Soy Powder, 23.2 oz., No. 7007450820
- Similac Organic Powder DHA/AHA, 23.2 oz., No. 7007450822
- Similac Go & Grow Milk Powder, 22 oz., No. 7007450828
- Similac Advance Early Shield Powder, 23.2 oz., No. 7007453360
- Similac Advance LCP Iron Powder, 12.9 oz., No. 7007455958
- Similac Isomil Advance Soy/Iron Powder, 12.9 oz., No. 7007455964.
Other Concerns About Using Formula Milk
What is the closest formula to breast milk?
Nutritionist Rebecca Fett recommends choosing a formula as close to breast milk as possible, Examples are Enfamil Enspire or Enfamil NeuroPro Infant, which contain the following ingredients: (4)
- Whey protein
- MFGM (Milk Fat Globule Membrane), a healthy fat abundant in breast milk
Is a non-GMO formula better?
Many parents are concerned about GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in their baby’s formula.
As their name suggests, GMOs are food modified at a genetic level. It’s done to make the crop/plant stronger and less susceptible to pests. Some might even add certain bacteria to keep pests from eating the crops.
Organic formulations don’t have modifiers or potentially harmful chemicals and are grown without pesticides.
GMOs have not been tested to know whether they are safe for your baby.
We recommend steering clear of GMO products, and wherever possible choosing certified organic or Non-GMO Verified products.
Why use formula, and for how long?
Many moms would argue that breastfed babies are healthier, but many moms also need to give their babies formula for various reasons (such as low breastmilk supply or mom can’t breastfeed).
Doctors declare that breast milk is best for babies, but if there’s no source for human milk, you may provide your baby with nutrients, minerals, carbs, and vitamins from a formula. Most of these baby milk formulas mimic breast milk.
Ideally, you may give formula milk to babies up to two years of age, but different families have different beliefs. Some begin to wean their babies after introducing solid foods.
Powdered formula or liquid form?
That’s actually just a matter of your preference. For example, powdered formula is cheaper than the ready-to-use liquid formula but also needs time to prepare.
How will I know if my little one doesn’t like the milk?
Most babies won’t drink milk they don’t like. If they’re really hungry, some babies might drink a formula they don’t like but usually don’t finish the bottle.
Is it OK to switch from Similac to Enfamil?
It’s a good idea to stick to the products that work for your baby. If your baby becomes fussy, try burping him first or check for teething discomfort before deciding to change the formula.
If your baby ends up being fussy, develops a rash, often spits up, or develops diarrhea after drinking a particular formula, it may be time to find another option.
Talk to your pediatrician if you think it’s time to change the formula. Discuss your options before switching formulas.
Always monitor your baby’s skin (for rashes) and bowel movements (constipation or diarrhea) when you’re switching formulas.
Why is there corn syrup in my baby’s formula?
Most formulas try to mimic breast milk as much as possible. Breast milk contains lactose, and most formulas mimic this using lactose from cow’s milk. Others use palm olein oil or corn syrup.
Tips for Formula Feeding
In formula feeding, make sure to choose the right bottle with the right nipple (flow shouldn’t be too fast).
Also, ensure there’s no air in the nipple that your baby might swallow and that the milk temperature isn’t too hot or too cold. It’s best to test on your skin (let a small amount flow from the nipple to your arm) before giving the milk to your baby.
Can I give my baby water?
Your baby needs to get all nutrients and fluids from your breastmilk or the baby formula if you aren’t breastfeeding (or doing mixed feeding). Don’t give water to babies below six months old.
Water is only given to babies six months old and above, at around the age they already start eating solid foods.
Can I add anything to my baby’s formula?
Don’t add anything to your baby’s formula! Instead, mix the formula according to the package instructions.
Adding even just excess water could prevent your child from getting enough nutrition from the milk because the diluted formula can make him feel fuller without consuming the entire bottle.
Can I make a homemade milk formula?
In the past, mommies used to make homemade milk formula because they didn’t have a choice. None was being sold at the time. The babies were able to survive and grow, but many lacked essential nutrients for proper development.
If you’re unable to breastfeed, it may be better to choose a commercially available formula than make your own at home.
Can I use a generic formula?
It’s alright to use a generic formula or any conventionally produced store-brand milk. But check the label if the FDA approves it. Only give your baby FDA-approved formula milk.
Can I give my baby pure cow’s milk?
Don’t ever give your baby pure cow’s milk.
While most formula milk products are made from cow’s milk, these are formulated to mimic breast milk as closely as possible and to include the nutrients your baby needs.
Can I use a microwave to prepare formulas?
Don’t ever use a microwave to prepare your baby’s formula. This may result in serious burns.